At this year’s “Bish Bash” fundraiser, Matt “Grumpy” Lindon presented Michael and Cindy Bish (Sam’s parents) with an extra special gift: their own personalized Kashyyyk clonetrooper helmet – decorated in the colors and style of The Sam Bish Foundation.
“Now, I can't tell you what made me do this,” admits Grumpy. “I just felt I should and that it was a good thing to do. I just had to make it.”
As the CO of Great Lakes Base’s Umbara Squad – Grumpy is used to paying close attention to detail when it comes to clontrooper armor. Now, turn that project into a labor of love for the Bish family and this armor is more “work of art” then just another costume project. Grumpy painted each of the three chest plates and the Kashyyyk clonetrooper helmet (by hand) and personalized each of them with both screen-accurate Star Wars detail as well as various symbols of The Sam Bish Foundation – including the monarch butterfly and yellow ribbon – as well as messages like “In Memory of Sam Bish” (but in Aurebesh – of course)
“I was really a bit overwhelmed by such a generous and beautiful gift. It was very creative and so well done,” said Michael Bish
Grumpy has a history of going above and beyond the call – where the Bish family is concerned. Four years ago, several of us from Great Lakes Base, Ohio Garrison and Rancor Clan were invited to visit nine-year-old Sam Bish, during his battle with a rare form of bone cancer (Osteosarcoma). Sam loved Star Wars and the more we witnessed his bravery and that of his parents… it left a lasting mark on each one of us. Later, when the Bish family invited us to participate in a CureWalk event in Columbus – Grumpy was on the front line, with Sam’s initials painted on his helmet. Then for the inaugural “Bish Bash” – Grumpy personalized one of his Commander Bly chest plates in memory of Sam and the foundation named after him. This year, the entire Lindon family of clones got involved.
“Ever since meeting Sam, Mike, Cindy, and Courtney, my eyes have been opened to what happens with the kids and their families,” Grumpy reflects. “To lose a child to cancer really breaks me up.”
Michael adds, “It continues to show us what an impact Sam had on the lives he touched, whether he met them for just a moment or not at all. He continues (even after four years after his passing) to touch so many people. We are so blessed to have the support of such an amazing group of people and knowing that you all "have our back". Thank you simply does not begin to show our gratitude to the 501st and Rebel Legion. You all are family to us and hold a very dear spot in the hearts of the Bish Family.”